Abrew is the third judge to have recused himself from hearing the case. Previously, Justices Priyantha Jayawardana and Prasanna Jayawardana had recused themselves from the judge bench.
The petition against the former Chief Justice was taken up for hearing before a three-member judge bench of Justices Sisira de Abrew, Vijith Malalgoda, and Preethi Padman Surasena.
Former Chief Justice Silva has been accused of making defamatory comments against the judiciary at a public rally in Maradana on March 12 last year. A petition against Mr. Silva has been filed by three individuals including Professor Chandra Gupta Thenuwara.
The petitioners had queried on which grounds Mr. Silva was not stripped of his title as an Attorney despite his defamatory comments against the judiciary.
Further hearing on the case was postponed until September 30.